I just love the softness of watercolor sketches and have been experimenting with Photoshop to get this lovely effect, so today I wanted to share with you this tutorial I have put together with a step by step guide of how I achieved this technique. Here are two layouts which I have worked on this week using Photoshop CS6, these techniques will also work in Photoshop Elements although there maybe a couple of steps that have to be achieved a little differently, I will cover the ones that I know about.
Try to use good quality clear photographs for the best results.
Open a new file 3600 x 3600 and 300dpi using a plain paper, I chose a light color paper as I like the way the sketch truly stood out. Drop your chosen photograph onto the paper and make a duplicate.
Now make the copy photograph invisible for the moment.
Working on the first photo go to filter select stylize and find edges
Now adjust the hue and saturation level to-100
Now go to Image, Adjustments and Curves (For PSE I think you will need to go to Enhance, Adjust and Lighting levels and use the slider)
Set the output level to around 180 and the input to around 130 or to your liking, you will now have a black and white image.
In the layers palette select the blending mode to Darken as shown below, this will remove the white background leaving you with just the black sketch lines.
Using the alt key on your keyboard select the layer mask icon as shown below.
This will now make your picture invisible, this is where you will select a paint brush to brush back the photo, I used a watercolor brush.
Make sure you have the mask thumbnail selected and not the photo thumbnail.
Now we go through the same steps on the copied photo, make the second photo visible and create a layer mask as before. Again making sure you have the mask thumbnail selected and not the photo thumbnail.
I played around with the paint brushes painting or out until I had the look that I like best.
When finished I just added some texture and paint splats on the page.